LIKE THE BERLIN, SOMEDAY THIS WALL WILL BE ONLY IN MUSEUMS… A masked Palestinian youth sits on top of Israel’s apartheid wall during clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Anata on May 15, 2011 as Palestinians marked the ‘Nakba’ or ‘Catastrophe’ of the 1948 - The occupied Palestine [photo: Reuters]
The “seperation wall” (often called “Apartheid Wall” by Palestinians) was built along and within the West Bank. It is still under construction.
Some facts: The Wall is not being built on, or in most cases near the 1967 Green Line, but rather cuts deep into the West Bank, expanding Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and resources. In total, 85% of the Wall is located in the West Bank. When completed, the Wall will de facto annex some 46% of the West Bank, isolating communities into Bantustans, ghettos and “military zones”.
The most obvious historical parallel to the barrier is the Berlin Wall, which was 96 miles long (155 kilometers). Israel’s barrier, still under construction, is expected to reach at least 403 miles in length (650 kilometers). The average height of the Berlin Wall was 11.8 feet (3.6 metres), compared with the maximum current height of Israel’s Wall — 25 feet (8 metres).
The country of Israel is in a constant state of conflict. The Old City of Jerusalem is constantly in conflict. Trying to determine which nationality should be responsible for what part of the old city and which church is a constant battle.
Perhaps one of the most controversial structures which can be seen from the city of Jerusalem is the Separation Wall which was originally constructed to provide additional security from potential attack.
Today’s blog is not intended as a commentary on the construction of the wall and whether or not it should exist but rather today’s post focuses on the graffiti art that can be found on the wall that exists on the border of Bethlehem. Similar graffiti exists on the wall that can be found on the border of Ramallah, a vibrant city that is about a 30 minute drive from Jerusalem.
You cannot ignore the bright colors and creative images that artists have created as a means of expressing a point of view in looking at the graffiti.
Whether or not you believe the wall is necessary or not, it is nonetheless a sad thing that the existence of such a structure exists in this day and age. Perhaps in time such barriers will not exist and the occupants of the region will find a way to co-exist together. One can only hope.
As for the two other signs, the first is taken from the entrance to The Church of the Nativity. What caught my attention was the reminder that no weapons were allowed inside the location of where Jesus was allegedly born. Interesting that such a reminder is necessary!
As for the last photo, I have no doubt that the owner’s of the Starbuck’s brand may have their own point of view as to whether or not this constitutes a trademark infringement but it would seem that management made a commercial decision that this was not a dispute worth pursuing!
I’ve often wondered what it was like to have been more aware of the fall of the Berlin Wall (I was 4). I have studied the Cold War since then, but nothing I’ve read in a book about geopolitics or an article about the Middle East, compares to watching videos and pictures out of Cairo today; it’s hard not to tear up at the strength and determination of the Egyptian people. I don’t want to be naive about the difficulties that may lie ahead, nor compare the last stage of The Cold War to Egyptian politics, but today, I sat in awe in front of my computer screen, watching the joy of a united Egypt celebrating the end of 30 years of autocratic rule. And it’s the same feeling I get when I see videos of the Germans destroying the barrier that had divided them for so long- humbled. Muslims were hugging Christians. Women posed for pictures with soldiers. Secular teenagers cheered in groves.
There’s a wall out there, in particular, I’d like to see come down- the separation wall between Israel and Palestine. As my mom has often said to me, she didn’t think the Berlin Wall would come down, and it did. Power to the People, indeed.
Shalom and Assalamu alaikum. My heart and admiration go out to the Egyptian people. I truly hope the army leads the country responsibly and free, democratic elections occur in a timely fashion. But keep celebrating tonight and into the weekend. You sure as hell deserve it!